Columns » Bob Lancaster

The candidates unmasked


It’s my contention that we don’t know enough about these presidential candidates to cast an informed, intelligent vote. I came to that realization the other day when my research assistant informed me that President Bush’s all-time favorite song is “Wake Up Little Suzie.” This information came from a multiple-choice magazine quiz so it has to be true. Here’s what I thought: How could anybody really vote in good conscience for somebody whose favorite tune wasn’t “Someone to Watch Over Me” or “Stardust” or “Summertime” or “Yesterday” or “Sweet Baby James” or “ Big Boss Man” but instead was one that included such lines as, “Whatta we gonna tell your Mama/ Whatta we gonna tell your pa/ Whatta we gonna tell our friends when they say Ooh-la-la?” If he was bound to pick an Everly Brothers, why not one with more substance, more depth, like “Till I Kissed Ya”? Anyway, that disclosure convinced me to find out more such essential, definitive information about the candidates. I’ve dug up some stuff, including the following. President Bush’s favorite card game is Rook. He wanted to bestow a knighthood on the inventor of the game, but upon learning that American presidents can’t bestow knighthoods, proposed to award him the presidential Medal of Freedom instead. But researchers were unable to identify the inventor, so the medal was given instead to the biggest campaign contributor. Senator Kerry’s favorite colorful autumn leaf is the sassafras, which turns a bright orange. His all-time favorite hockey player is Orest Kindrachuk, a nondescript second-stringer with the old Philadelphia Flyers, and no one can figure this one out. President Bush’s favorite scene from Shakespeare isn’t the heath scene from “King Lear” or the balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet.” He doesn’t have a favorite scene from Shakespeare. If he had to pick one, it would be Julius Caesar saying he’d et two brutays, whatever brutays are, but he’d rather not. His favorite of Plato’s Dialogues isn’t Phaedo, Crito, Parmenides, Euthyphro, or the Apology. He doesn’t have a favorite one of these, either. Senator Kerry’s favorite shotgun is the Remington 12-gauge pump. He likes to shoot already-dead geese with it that are pulled along overhead on a wire. President Bush’s favorite Broadway show music consists of Secretary of State Colin Powell concluding Cabinet meetings singing “Old Man River” from “Showboat.” These performances are said to agitate Attorney General John Ashcroft noticeably, but permission for him to leave early has so far been denied. President Bush’s favorite non-political TV commercial is the one that asks, “Hey, that thing got a hemmy?” Every single episode of “Seinfeld” eluded Senator Kerry, who just didn’t get it, though he might have been overheard chuckling quietly a couple of times at Klinger’s pursuit of a Section 8 on “M.A.S.H.” President Bush was one of those children who pick their nose and eat it, and his mother Barbara tried everything to discourage the disgusting habit, including smashing his picking finger with a hammer, which goes a long way toward explaining his foreign policy. His favorite Halloween prank as a youngster (and up to his election as governor of Texas) was setting fire to paper bags filled with excrement and putting them on codgers’ porches and ringing the doorbell. He considered this clever and still thinks it was clever. Senator Kerry’s favorite painter is Winslow Homer, and President Bush’s is, too, but he calls him Homer Winslow. Senator Kerry’s favorite Beethoven is the Moonlight; President Bush’s is the dog. Fifty Cent isn’t the favorite rapper of either candidate. The only rappers that President Bush knows anything about are hot dog wrappers, from back when he owned the baseball team, and Senator Kerry thinks rapping is when cool cats sit around talking – either that or it has to do with big ebony nevermore birds rapping on a chamber door. President Bush doesn’t smoke or drink or throw fiery bags of excrement on codgers’ porches on Halloween anymore, and about the only real vice he has left besides starting pointless wars that cost 1,000 American lives and a hundred thousand million dollars is that he likes to dip unsweetened powdered Kool-Aid, putting a big pinch between his cheek and gum the way Walt Garrison used to do Skoal, and is given to firing underlings who appear to notice that the stuff turns his mouth and tongue red (cherry, strawberry), purple (grape), green (lime), or orange (orange). Senator Kerry meantime cannot abide reporters who eat filberts while interviewing him, or who eat sunflower seeds and spit out the husks while snorting in derision at his responses to their questions. He is less than cordial to televangelists who tell him up front that they believe him to be the Antichrist, and has been known to have one of his liberal gorillas give one of them a Dutch rub. Take this data to the polls with you. Consult it right there in the booth. Hope it helps.

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